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A Sato is a Puerto Rican street dog – a mutt, if you will. Unfortunately, it is well-documented of how many stray animals there are in Puerto Rico – both dogs and cats. In fact, the cat issue is probably more out of control than the dog issue, but isn’t nearly as visible as cats are more nocturnal and more self-sufficient. (If you would like to support the Save a Cat effort, considering purchasing our Cobblestones Cat book – all proceeds go to the Save a Gato organization).
There are many excellent organizations on the island working on the problem, but it is difficult to get ahead of the game without some major changes to how the problem is addressed. What we are doing isn’t working…
It has been very common over the years for visitors to fall in love with one of these strays, and want to take them home. In fact, I know many people who have done this and have never regretted it. The Puerto Rican Sato is an amazing pet- probably because they appreciate how far they have come- from the street to your loving home. So how is it done?
Taking a new pet home with you is pretty straightforward. This is how it is done:
Get a Health Certificate
You will need to have a vet exam and rabies shot. The doctor will vaccinate the animal and complete the health certificate and issue certificate of rabies. Veterinarians are familiar with preparing dogs for shipment.
Vieques Humane Society, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Dr. Delgado, Fajardo
Dr. Sanitago, Loiza
PR Veterinary Clinic, San Juan, 787-725-4786,
Get a Travel Kennel
You can find these at PetSmart or at Walmarts around the island.
Soft sided / in cabin
transport 20 lbs or less
Hard kennels / cargo travel
* Two water/food cups secured to the kennel door are required in cargo. Be aware that most come with only one or none. Label your kennel with a sharpie!
The Flight Home…
Each airline has a different policy and you will need to verify with them in advance as they change. I recently heard that some airlines are no longer requiring the health certificate.
American Airlines. Aa.com 800-981-4757 800-433-7300 800-227-4622 (cargo) Weight limit 100 pounds. Temperature restrictions on cargo. Breed Restrictions!!!
United 800-864-8331 united.com • In cabin from passenger check in. Cargo from cargo terminal. No weight or temperature restrictions. There are breed restrictions with respect to kennel size and reinforced crate requirements.
Jet Blue jetblue.com 800-538-2583 • In cabin only. Weight limit 20#
Delta Airlines delta.com 800-352-2746 • In cabin, as checked baggage and as cargo. Website has all pertinent info.
Spirit Airlines spiritair.com 801-401-2222 In cabin only.
Southwest southwest.com 800-435-9792 In cabin only
Airtran airtran.com – 800-247-8726 Incabin only.
USAir 800-428-4322 – In cabin only. usairways.com
Here are some hotels in San Juan that accept Pets:
- Sheraton Old San Juan – 787-721-5100,
- Coqui Inn Isla Verde – 787-726-4330
- Wind Chimes Ocean Park 787-727-4153
- Casa del Caribe Condado 787-722-7139
- Verdanza Hotel Isla Verde 787-253-9000